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Repurposing Glass Jars into Three-Dimensional Scrapbooks

Updated on July 19, 2012
An example of a "scrapbook in a jar."  A German train ticket, a pluto dog (Disneyland Paris), a pirate flag and a duck (our favorite meal was french duck leg confit)
An example of a "scrapbook in a jar." A German train ticket, a pluto dog (Disneyland Paris), a pirate flag and a duck (our favorite meal was french duck leg confit) | Source
The Eiffel Tower - life-size (you'll want to use a tiny one for your scrapbook jar)
The Eiffel Tower - life-size (you'll want to use a tiny one for your scrapbook jar) | Source

We recently came back from a great European vacation and brought back lots of fun little souvenirs, including the requisite model of the Eiffel tower. Of course, we took lots of pictures that will get framed and shared. But, I was also looking for fun ways to showcase the little trinkets. Glass jars became the perfect venue.

You can take an old glass jar, such as a pasta sauce jar and wash it well, including removing the label. Depending on color and print on the lid, you might consider painting it, but it's not necessary. Now, comes the fun. Add in your trinkets and souvenirs that otherwise might end up hidden in a shoebox or collecting dust on your desk.

Some of my favorites:

For a Beach Vacation - fill the bottom inch with sand collected from the beach. Add in some seashells the kids collected, a tiny beach umbrella from the daiquiri you enjoyed at sunset, the keychain you picked up at the corner market, perhaps a few pieces of beach glass (if you could be so lucky) and anything else that truly brings back memories of the trip.

For a City Trip - save those metro passes, buy a model taxi or train (or perhaps a die cast replica of the minivan you rented), pick up miniature versions of the city's famous landmarks (think statue of liberty in NYC), perhaps a book of matches from your favorite restaurant, a token from the casino, your Broadway ticket stubs - the options are endless. Display these mementos in a repurposed glass jar and you have a unique three-dimensional scrapbook.

For an International Vacation - These glass scrapbooks are the perfect way to showcase the foreign currency you couldn't convert (or just wanted to remember). Ticket stubs are also great - from the plane, train or museum. You might also find interesting versions of familiar items at home, such as cherry-blossom flavored Kit-Kats (I hear they actually have those in Japan, though I've never seen them). Anything that brings back pleasant memories from your trip would be a great addition to your 3-dimensional scrapbook.

I'm planning on starting a little collection of these jars for my kids as we travel through the years. We are always picking up fun little trinkets and I can't wait to put them all together. In fact, we are planning a trip to San Francisco later this summer and I am already thinking about what I can put in our glass-jar "scrapbook." I'm planning on picking up a tiny little cable car, perhaps a square of Ghirardelli chocolate and a picture of the Golden Gate bridge. This is also a great craft project to extend the travel adventure when we return home. My daughter loves arts and crafts - now I can combine that with my love of travel.

What really makes these memento jars so much fun is the ability to really make them personal. The treasures you fill the jar with can be anything you want - tiny versions of famous landmarks, reminders of inside jokes, pictures you take, trash you pick on up on street (why not), playbills, concert ticket stubs - the only limitation is the size of your repurposed glass jar.

These three-dimensional scrapbooks are not only great conversation starters, but also a great way to repurpose old glass jars that were otherwise destined for the recycle bin. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!


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    • Written Up profile imageAUTHOR

      Written Up 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma City, OK

      Thanks Crystal Tatum - I've uploaded a picture of our last project. I'll get better over time, I think. It was a fun little craft.

      Thanks to everyone that's read and commented. Hubpages is a great community.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image

      Crystal Tatum 

      6 years ago from Georgia

      Cute ideas - I'd love to see a picture of your creations!

    • Written Up profile imageAUTHOR

      Written Up 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma City, OK

      Thank you gmarquardt. Glad you enjoyed reading.

    • gmarquardt profile image


      6 years ago from Hill Country, Texas

      Great ideas, nicely written.

    • Written Up profile imageAUTHOR

      Written Up 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma City, OK

      Absolutely. I'll post some photos in next weekend!

      Thanks for reading.

    • RTalloni profile image


      6 years ago from the short journey

      This is a neat idea. Maybe we could see photos of some examples when you start making your collection?


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